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My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me…

My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up

by Stephen Elliott

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Be warned: this book isn't for everyone. The author engages in an extreme lifestyle that many people may find offensive/repulsive. That said, Mr. Elliott is an engaging and even inspiring figure. He's an honest, clear writer. The book ends on a decided (and redemptive) upswing, and I can't wait to read his next novel. (To wit: it appears to be about a Bay area murder. Check out Mr. Elliott's 7/9 article in Salon where he takes a convicted murderer [rightly] to task.) ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
"Femdom" is typically not the stuff of serious fiction these days, but as Stephen Elliott manages to mix it with the trauma of his upbringing, he manages to cultivate sympathy in the reader of serious fiction. However, my problem with Elliott is this: I don't entirely buy it. Buy the need to consistently EXPLAIN his proclivity, or suggest his masochistic inclinations (during sexplay with women) are all tied to his victim status as a kid (and now a man). I find that whole victim role he's adopted (in his last 3 books, in fact, including his new one) slightly bogus. In fact, it wasn't until reading his new "memoir," The Adderall Diaries, that I realized how much he's exploiting the public's ignorance and fear of BDSM and, in particular, femdom -- casting it as some demon horror he keeps coming back to compulsively -- right along with re-surging flashbacks of his hellish childhood. Hey, what is the big deal anyway? The big deal to admitting to being topped? And LIKING it? So fucking what?

Hear this: A lot of people are into it -- into BDSM (in all its variations, including Elliot’s) -- but as a FUN thing, as a "trust" thing, as a release (not necessary of trauma, but stress). It can be a source of great intimacy and connection. Really, it's not such a big deal, is it? To allow yourself to be topped? Should it be?

Or is it just a “man needs to be a man” thing? And no “real man” should allow himself to be portrayed as any less of a man -- or be regarded a “pussy?”

Think about it: Is it that women are still seen as such lesser beings -- such inferiors to men -- that, for a man, to admit to being topped by one (during sexplay or otherwise) should necessarily bring with it such humiliation and shame? Obviously, the “equality of the sexes” thing -- harped on since the early days of feminism -- hasn't come very far if this little thing -- “femdom” or whatever you wanna call it -- needs to remain some deep dark inclination or deviance -- some secret -- that no man -- no "real man” -- can admit to openly. This leads me to believe that BDSM -- especially femdom (let me spell that out: F.E.M.D.O.M.) -- is really the last taboo. The public needs to lighten up. Every man needs to get his ass kicked by a woman -- (lovingly, if possible) and repeatedly, if necessary -- until the shame -- all the shame -- is gone. And the public -- the mainstream -- needs to stop demonizing BDSM as something freakin' satanic.

Back to the book: I do admire Stephen Elliott's courage in "coming out," so to speak.

In fact, he really is one of the first. And I admit I look forward to the day when admitting to such things won't carry such a ridiculous social stigma.

I was very happy to hear him mention fetish artist Eric Stanton (one of my cult heroes) in the book. Elliott’s writing is very "literate," which is to say a little precious (in my view), but I know that's what a lot people see as "literature," still.... (I’m not a fan of minimalism either. That’s just my taste … or maybe my own cultural/ethnic inclination.)

In the future, I look forward to reading more of Stephen Elliott’s work, especially hoping that one day he’ll mesh his very specific femdom inclinations in his life, while writing about it -- but in a more fun and positive way. (FUN, Elliott, do you hear me? Wipe away those tears.) And I know that one day all this stuff -- BDSM stuff -- will finally make it out of the closet (as many other so-called “deviancies” have done so in the past) and, in this way, not be such a source of shame for millions of otherwise normal, certainly creative, people.
2 vote bonkers | Jun 5, 2010 |
The pieces in this collection were just the right length for me, mostly because the prose was as engaging (okay, arousing) as the subject matter, especially as the book progresses. I probably should've read the stories, as some say you should with a collection of shorts, in order. (I typically read a collection out of order, starting with the shortest pieces.) When I skimmed the book a final time to make sure I'd finished it, I could appreciate what seemed to be a theme of someone slowly, but surely putting himself back together after a life of trauma. ( )
  donp | Nov 17, 2008 |
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“This could have been a sexual memoir,” Elliott notes in his wry introduction. “Ultimately, I made the poor marketing choice of calling this a book of stories because there were too many things in it I knowingly made up.” He didn’t make up the rude bits. Those, he assures us, are lifted directly from his life.
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